The Mt Maunganui team has managed to hold off a late charge from their challengers to take a strong victory at the Oceans '17 event, held this weekend at Main Beach in Tauranga.
While they were the favourite team to win going into the final day after establishing an early lead on Thursday, a late charge by many athletes meant nothing was guaranteed until the final race held earlier today.
Omanu Surf Life Saving Club, from just down the road, managed to finish in second while Waihi Beach Surf Life Saving Club and Waikanae Surf Life Saving Club finished in third equal, meaning it was a hugely successful weekend for Surf Life Saving New Zealand's (SLSNZ) eastern region.
Rounding out the top five, also from SLSNZ's eastern region, which runs from Hot Water Beach in Coromandel to Midway Surf Life Saving Club just south of Gisborne, was the team from Whangamata who were only one point away from also finishing in third.
The top northern region team from Red Beach near Auckland finished in sixth equal with Maranui from the central region, showing how talent exists all around the country in the under-14 category.
Oceans '17 event manager Scott Bicknell said this was probably one of the best Oceans events ever held here in Tauranga and paid credit to everyone who took part for allowing that to happen.
"Firstly, a huge congratulations to the Mt Maunganui team for taking the win but also a big congratulations to all the athletes who took part. They did an awesome job out there all weekend and played hard but fair.
"But of course we couldn't have run the event without the dedicated and hard-working group of volunteers and officials. They have worked incredibly hard all week to pull this event off and to be honest, I think it's one of the best we've had, so that's a real credit to them."
Bicknell also said conditions all weekend were "almost perfect" with sunny, warm and dry conditions all weekend, with a reasonable amount of surf each day to keep things interesting.
The next major event on the Surf Life Saving New Zealand sport calendar is the Surf Life Saving New Zealand Nationals, set to be held in two weeks' time from March 16-19 at New Brighton beach in Christchurch. Spectators are welcome to watch the event and spectator entry to the event is free.
Oceans '17 points:
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Alana McIsaac, Media & Communications Contractor,
Phone 027 515 7157